New report discouraging Tesla purchases

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A recent analysis on the quality of electric vehicles doesn’t look well for Tesla.

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Teslas are among the greatest electric vehicles available, which is understandable given their extended range, access to Superchargers, Autopilot, and luxurious appearance. However, a recent J.D. Power report on vehicle quality might cause you to stop.

The Initial Quality Study for 2020 model-year vehicles, which J.D. Power recently published (opens in new tab), is not encouraging. The results show that supply chain problems have led to a general deterioration in vehicle quality, with an 11 percent dip year over year. Tesla and Polestar are located very close to the bottom of what is the group’s steepest drop yet observed.

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Based on responses from 84,165 verified drivers who either owned or leased the vehicles between November 2021 and February 2022, the poll was conducted. 33 different brands and 189 different unique automobiles are represented in the responses.

These results showed that there were 226 issues for every 100 Tesla vehicles, placing the automaker’s products seventh from the bottom. Not a good picture for a business that already has a bad reputation for subpar production and quality assurance, especially given the seemingly arbitrary price increases that have occurred over the past year or two.

While non-Tesla EVs averaged 240 issues per 100 vehicles, Polestar came in dead last with 328 issues per 100 vehicles. Buick (139), Dodge (143), Chevrolet (147), Genesis, and Kia were at the top of the list (both 156). The industry standard is 180 issues for every 100 vehicles.

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Instead than the actual vehicles themselves, the software is the primary issue that current car owners face. Infotainment was a factor in six of the top ten problems, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay receiving 5.8 complaints per 100 vehicles (up from 4.9), making them some of the worst offenders.

Other related issues include inconsistent audio volume (2.9 complaints per 100 cars), trouble using touchscreens and displays (3.5), Bluetooth (3.4), and voice recognition (4 complaints per 100 cars) (2.7). Lane departure warnings and lane-keep assistance features have proven to be the most problematic, with 4.1 complaints per 100 cars, after experiencing a decline in 2021.

J.D. Power observed that premium vehicles averaged 196 complaints per 100 cars compared to 175 for more mass market models, suggesting that premium vehicles tend to have more issues. According to some, this is because more high-tech elements are present in premium vehicles, which raises the possibility of problems.

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The reason why EVs have such a high average score may also be due to this tendency. Many electric vehicles fall into the higher end of the price range, and even the more affordable ones frequently come with more high-tech features.

According to the research, automakers are having trouble controlling the continuous supply chain problems, particularly when it comes to microchips. Because of this, some automakers have decided not to install certain amenities in their vehicles, which will affect consumer pleasure. especially if they don’t anticipate lost items.

A number of delays on various vehicles have also been caused by supply chain problems. The launch of the Tesla Cybertruck was delayed from late 2021 to early 2023, and the Nissan Ariya came more than a year later than expected.

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Therefore, as alluring as it may be, it might not be the best moment to purchase a new electric car, whether it be a Tesla or not. You might not have much of a choice in the matter, though, given that supply chain problems are still present and some Tesla wait times are well over a year.

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